Experts who support the use of statin medications like to keep saying how cheap the drugs are now that Lipitor has gone off patent. Here in the UK, we can often find statements like.... low dose statins only cost £1 a month per patient. Statin supporters have even laughed at the idea that money is the motivation for lowering cholesterol, insisting that the market for statins is not that great.
Well overall, the annual cholesterol-lowering market is still worth US$29 billion. And IMS have just released figures for the most prescribed drugs in the USA.
Between July 2013 and June 2014 more than 22.5 million prescriptions were written for CRESTOR, generating US$5.6 billion for AstraZeneca in one year.
I have commented on CRESTOR before, but this issue is so important, it can’t be mentioned too much.
Crestor has become so popular, because of the JUPITER trial. The results of the JUPITER trial are summarised below in the video excerpt from $TATIN NATION.
An honest assessment of the published trial data shows that Crestor did not provide any meaningful benefit. That's before we even start to look at the adverse effects of Crestor, which included an increase in the risk for type 2 diabetes. However, the situation is even worse than we think.
An article published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in 2010 questioned the validity of the data from the JUPITER trial and raised concerns about the role of the company sponsoring the trial. Another article published in the journal Cardiology in 2011 raised similar concerns .
The leading question is, what the hell happened to evidence based medicine?
For more on this, please see the MedScape article
Ridker, PM et al, for the JUPITER Study Group. Rosuvastatin to Prevent Vascular Events in Men and Women with Elevated C-Reactive Protein. N Engl J Med 2008; 359:2195-207.
de Lorgeril, M et al. Cholesterol lowering, cardiovascular diseases, and the rosuvastatin-JUPITER controversy. A critical reappraisal. Arch Intern Med. 2010; 170:1032-1036.
Serebruany, VL. Extreme all-cause mortality in JUPITER requires reexamination of vital records. Cardiology. 2011; 120:84-8